The Curious Case of the Distancer and Pursuer Relationship

2022-01-23T21:23:40+00:00Communication|

As we wrote in a previous blog, it’s common for couples to get stuck in dangerous patterns. One, in particular, is where they draw conclusions about each other’s words and actions — simply because they see it every day. They think they know what each other “really means,” but in reality, they don’t. The result is poor communication, which leads to hurt feelings and fights. But this is just one of many patterns or cycles that couples get stuck in. Another is the distancer and pursuer relationship.   As we dive into another new year, it’s important to recognize the many damaging patterns in our relationships that keep us from [...]

Damaging Patterns of Communicating in Conflict

2022-01-23T20:38:23+00:00Communication|

Many of us like to think we’ve got our spouses figured out. After all, we’re around each other constantly, so it’s only natural that we listen, observe each other’s behavior, and remember things about each other simply because we see it every day. We recognize traits, patterns, experiences, behaviors, qualities, etc., and then draw conclusions that make us think we know what they “really mean” by their words and actions. We think we know each other better than anyone. But do we really? Furthermore, is this healthy, or are these dangerous patterns hurting our ability to communicate? Damaging Patterns As we dive into another new year, it’s important to recognize [...]

Transform your Communication: Determine if this is Work Talk or Heart Talk

2021-08-29T19:50:59+00:00Communication|

Couples struggle with miscommunications all the time, and one of the big reasons why is because we fail to understand what language our partner is speaking. No, we’re not talking about Spanish vs. English or French vs. Chinese — though it certainly can feel that way sometimes. What we’re talking about is Work Talk vs. Heart Talk. Below is a quick breakdown of each: Work Talk This is the task-oriented, schedule-driven, let’s-get-stuff-done kind of communication that can help make a weekly schedule. It sounds like this: “Let’s divide and conquer this TO-DO list. You go to the grocery and pick up the cleaning. I’ll fill up the car and take [...]

Tips and Tricks to Maximize your Daily Marriage Dialogue

2021-08-25T00:30:56+00:00Communication|

With all of this talk over the last few weeks in our blog posts about communication, we’d be remiss if we didn’t include important tips and marriage hacks when it comes to improving your daily marriage dialogue and daily compliments. We do this because it’s so easy to get caught up in our busy lives that we as couples forget to have all the little conversations that ultimately make a big difference in how well we communicate. We get caught in a cycle where we stop talking about anything meaningful. As a result, we don’t connect like we used to. Engaging in daily dialogue, even if it’s a simple, “What’s [...]

Listening is the Life Blood of Communication – Especially in Marriage

2021-08-08T17:41:21+00:00Communication|

Since the theme for this month is on communicating better as spouses, we wanted to share a few insightful words from Everett Worthington. Everett is a clinical psychologist and professor who, just like Susan and me, specializes in counseling couples. And a large part of his focus is to teach people how to communicate their love by listening. This is a valuable lesson because we typically stop listening to each other when we experience troubles in our marriage. We tune each other out or only listen to a few points before going on the defensive. When we do this, the message to our spouse is: “I don’t care enough about [...]

Communication Fails vs Love Bank 2.0

2021-08-04T22:29:54+00:00Communication, Love|

A common statement I hear from couples who are having problems in their marriage is that they aren’t communicating.  This can indicate Love Bank balance issues. “We just aren’t communicating like we used to!” “Gee, ya know … we just aren’t talking. And when we do, we end up fighting over something.” “I don’t think either of us is communicating how we really feel.” Communication breakdowns are normal. They happen to all of us. But we shouldn’t allow those breakdowns to last for too long. We need to investigate the root cause and do something about it. After all, communication is vital in marriage! It’s the only way we can [...]

What is the Purpose of Prayer and Why Do I Need More of it in My Life?

2021-05-14T17:47:24+00:00Communication, Personal Responsibility|

What does prayer look like in your life? Is it only at church on Sundays? Or, do you also interact with God at other times — maybe during a quiet time in the morning, while driving to work, or while sitting out on the patio? Prayer is incredibly important. We know that. We also know that personal contact with Jesus changes everything! Yet, many of us, myself included right now, may not be in the close, love relationship with Christ we would really like to be in. In fact, many couples we talk to are constantly distracted by the trials and problems of everyday life. As a result, their understanding [...]

How to Influence My Spouse and Understand Them

2021-04-04T16:55:43+00:00Communication, Conflict, Uncategorized|

Most marriage counselors will tell you that the best way to deal with and manage difficult conversations and differences between you and your spouse is to think in terms of being cooperative, seeking out understanding, and utilizing persuasion and influence. All of this is great — and true. But it’s also a bunch of “counselor talk.” What this really means is that you need to understand your partner’s point of view. Granted, that can be easier said than done — especially when you’re in the heat of the moment and both of you are thinking, “well, I’m right, and you are so horribly wrong.” But with the right attitude, finding [...]

Secrets to great couples communication: how to self-soothe

2021-03-22T23:59:50+00:00Communication, Self-Care|

Most people have heard the term self-soothing before, but very few of them actually know how to apply it to their lives. In fact, the majority of couples we work with — especially those with communication and conflict issues — simply don’t know how to calm themselves down when their stress levels are at their max and emotions are running rampant. Think about all the times this has happened to you. You’re in the middle of an argument with your spouse, and things are getting pretty heated. You’re both saying some pretty hurtful things when you literally lose it! You can’t think straight. Breathing is irregular and shallow. Palms are [...]

6 Keys or Secrets to Great Couple Communication

2021-03-03T17:54:34+00:00Communication|

We’ve thrown a lot at you over the last few weeks and months about great couple communication. Specifically, what it should look like, how to talk through conflict when it inevitably happens, and, of course, how all of this fits into the bigger picture of having a safe and connected marriage. Say it with us one more time — positive communication is vital in marriage! It’s the only way we can truly get to know our spouse and truly respond to each other’s wants and needs.   “Two things can destroy any relationship: unrealistic expectations and poor communication.” — unknown author   Keys to Great Couple Communication Susan and I [...]

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